LANDOVER, Maryland — After an overtime loss in Miami last weekend, Browns head coach Hue Jackson shrugged off the idea of "moral victories" and "feel-good stories," saying the team would rightfully judged on wins and losses.
"It's a fight," Jackson said, "and we have to fight the fight to get over the hump.
The Browns are still in search of their first victory of 2016, falling to the Redskins, 31-20, Sunday afternoon at FedExField.
After leading 20-17 in the second half, the shorthanded Browns were ultimately undone by three late turnovers that thwarted an otherwise gutsy effort that saw them hold Washington's high-powered offense to 301 total yards and 4-of-8 on third down conversions.
In his second career start, rookie quarterback Cody Kessler passed for 228 yards and a touchdown on 28-of-39 throws but tossed an critical interception late in the fourth quarter that set up the Redskins' game-sealing touchdown.
Third-year running back Isaiah Crowell ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Terrelle Pryor -- the quarterback-turned wide receiver who had the league buzzing after a historic display against the Dolphins last week -- caught five passes for 46 yards and a touchdown that tied the game before halftime and send the team's sideline into a frenzy.
After falling behind 14-0, the Browns turned toward their playmakers on offense and buckled down on defense. Something of a turning point came when cornerback Jamar Taylor intercepted Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to set up Cleveland's first score of the afternoon.
That came after the Redskins marched down the field and Cousins — who completed 10 of his first 11 throws — zipped a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed. Reed, who finished with 73 yards and nine catches, caught another score on the ensuing drive to put Washington up early.
Cousins, in his second year as the Redskins starting quarterback, finished with 183 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-27 throws.
But just as it looked like Washington's offense might pull away, the Browns dug in on defense and found their footing on offense.
After totaling 200 yards against the Dolphins, Pryor carried that momentum to the nation's capital thwarting the coverage of All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman and the Redskins secondary.
Browns kicker Cody Parkey, whom the team offered a vote of confidence after a bumpy debut, bounced back in a big way, connecting from 51 yards and 45 yards out. Parkey, who joined the club the morning before its game against the Dolphins, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2014 with the Eagles.
The Browns entered Sunday's game still without quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown (who suffered shoulder injuries in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively), receiver and first-round draft pick Corey Coleman (hand), rookie defensive end and sack leader Carl Nassib (hand), starting safety Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring) and outside linebacker Nate Orchard (ankle), who was placed on injured reserve Saturday morning.
Following back-to-back road trips, Cleveland hosts New England next Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Browns play the second half against the Redskins in Week 4.